General Birding

2019 Descriptions still outstanding

Many thanks to all observers that submitted their records for 2019. However there are still a number of records that require descriptions before they can appear in the Bird Report.

If you were fortunate enough to find (or see) any of these birds below please could you submit a description to the County Recorder Many thanks, stay safe.

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Glossy Ibis, Otter Est 11-13 Mar Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar


Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in General Birding

Coronavirus update - Daily exercise and Bird Hides

Please be aware that in line with Government guidelines on non-essential travel and social distancing, the Devon Birds hides at Beesands, Fernworthy and Roadford, in addition to hides elsewhere in the County including Bowling Green Marsh, Dawlish Warren and Seaton Wetlands are closed until further notice. Whilst some people may be fortunate enough to be within walking/cycling distance of these sites, others should not be making special journeys to visit these areas at this time. Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Please follow NHS guidelines:

Posted April 16th at 12:04 pm by Mike Daniels in General Birding

Sightings page guidelines & rare breeding bird posting restrictions

We welcome contributions from Devon Birds members and the general public. Please follow the guidelines on this page if you have something to post on the blog, remembering to use the relevant subject.

Please post responsibly, never post details of rare breeding, or winter roosts of vulnerable, species. If you are unsure of what to - or not - to post, there are guidelines on the restrictions  here.

Please note:-

1. That Wood Warbler in probable breeding areas should also not now be published

2.  Posts which breach these guidelines may not be published at all. Editors do this job on a voluntary basis and cannot commit to editing out rare breeding bird information in posts which which include wider sightings. Please help us to avoid the need to delete or not admit posts. Thanks.

For help with ID email photos to

Posted January 8th at 9:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work.

Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in General Birding

Friday 21st December 2018

Med gull at Broadsands

Ist winter Med Gull on the rocks from Broadsands today. Also Black-Necked Grebe and many Great-Northern Divers in bay and towards Brixham, and two Chiffchaff and a male and female Blackcap in the first car-park. The Surf Scoter and Common Scoters were seen heading towards Broadsands from Goodrington mid-afternoon.

Posted December 21st, 2018 at 5:08 pm by Mark Brandon in General Birding


An early morning look from Goodrington. Surf Scotor 1st wint, Common Scoter 4, Red-throated Diver 1, Great Northern Diver 2, Shelduck 7 & Great Crested Grebe 48.


Posted December 21st, 2018 at 4:46 pm by Steve Cox in General Birding

scaup at Fremington Pill

The scaup is still at Fremington Pill - seen on this afternoon's incoming tide.


Posted December 21st, 2018 at 3:56 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding


Water Rails in the flooded area to the left of the hide.Arlington woodland.

Water Rail   both rails poor photo
Water Rail                                      both rails poor photo

Posted December 21st, 2018 at 3:37 pm by john elvin in General Birding

Northern visitors at Marine Parade

Three GND's fishing and minding their own business till the gulls spotted how successful they were being and started mobbing them. I assume the dark bird is a female but could find no reference to plumage in Hamlyn?


Eds: These are Eiders Philip - a good record in recent years in Torbay -  I'm on my way to see them now!

Posted December 21st, 2018 at 11:33 am by pHILIP l. FAIRCLOUGH in General Birding

Thursday 20th December 2018

Mediterranean Gulls, Marine Parade, Paignton

Two Mediterranean Gulls at Marine Parade, Preston, Paignton this morning.

Twenty two Turnstone, Little Egret, Oyster Catcher, Pied Wagtail and four Great Crested Grebe well out at sea.


Posted December 20th, 2018 at 3:51 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Teignmouth Pier

Still a Great Northern Diver and a 1W Little Gull near the pier this lunchtime.

Posted December 20th, 2018 at 3:04 pm by Simon Bates in General Birding

Red Necked Grebe

Elberry Cove Broadsands

1 Red Necked Grebe and 2 Black Necked Grebe close to the shoreline this morning together with good number of Great Northern Divers scatted around the bay.. 

Posted December 20th, 2018 at 3:02 pm by Roy Adams in General Birding

Wednesday 19th December 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

Treecreeper (only my second of the year here), Firecrest (now probably 5 wintering on the patch), Jack Snipe, Snipe 2, Shag 2, Little Grebe 3+, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Ring-necked Parakeet, Dunlin 148, Black-tailed Godwit, Wigeon 9 & Oystercatcher 9.

Posted December 19th, 2018 at 9:25 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Northbrook, - Salmon Pool

A quick pre-dentist visit this afternoon - usual Green Sands and (possibly) two pairs of Dipper (one pair near Lethbridge Road and the others nearer Topsham Road). A Little Egret on the flooded pitch and putt course and a lone Redshank on the similarly flooded Duckes Marsh Playing Fields.  A Treecreeper near Salmon Pool was the first I've seen there for over a year and was the highlight.

Dipper  Little Egret  Redshank
Dipper                              Little Egret                        Redshank

Posted December 19th, 2018 at 4:11 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Tuesday 18th December 2018

Ilfracombe Pier

Today still several Black Redstarts around the seafront. A few rareties on the sea, 2 Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver were feeding off the Pier. Further out a Skua sp was chasing Kittiwakes and Gannets off Capstone point. The storm drain has been attracting masses of Gulls, counts of up to 1000 are regular. 3 Porpoise were showing well and a large Bull Grey Seal was snacking on a Small eyed Ray. 

Shag aka Colin Bull seal breaking up a Skate
Shag aka Colin                                                    Bull seal breaking up a Skate

Posted December 18th, 2018 at 10:06 pm by Martin Thorne in General Birding

Scaup - Fremington Pill

The greater scaup still at Fremington Pill North Devon this morning at 10:30 however could not be found again on the return pass 40mins later.

Posted December 18th, 2018 at 3:56 pm by alan craddock in General Birding

Fremington Pill

The greater scaup was still at Fremington Pill at high tide today.

Posted December 18th, 2018 at 2:48 pm by Colin Dracott in General Birding

Monday 17th December 2018

Kingswood hill/ Challacombe Moor

A before sunset trip out over in the hope of seeing some seo's saw 5 red kite, a kestral, peregrine and numerous buzzards.sadly no seo's. There were large murms of many hundreds possibly thousands of starling and a large flight of golden plover which finally settled on the Moor. 

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 9:08 pm by Philip worth in General Birding

Blaxton Meadow (Plymouth)

A excellent event today organised by the National Trust, saw five volunteers and a ranger pointing out birds to over 50 interested visitors. Some 600 birds of 32 species visited the meadow during the high tide including 2 showy Kingfishers, 4 Goosanders (a drake & 3 redheads), 10 Wigeon, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 52 Curlews, 8 Oystercatchers, Common Sandpiper & 32 Shelducks.

All the visitors seemed very appreciative of the efforts to reduce disturbance which has led to positive effects for birds and birdwatchers. Many thanks to everyone involved.

On the estuary, also 2 drake Red-breasted Mergansers & 3 Little Grebes, and earlier a Firecrest by The Ride.

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 7:40 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Early Christmas dinner at Exminster Marsh

One less Canada Goose or an early Christmas dinner. Not much of any note on the marsh for a brief afternoon visit today. 4 Greylags and 4 Barnacles in with the Canada's and a Peregrine (as usual) on the pylon.

Canada Goose carcass Barnacle Goose (distant)
Canada Goose carcass                         Barnacle Goose (distant)

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 6:49 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

fremington quay and Barnstaple

Glossy Ibis, 2 Greenshank,many Redshank, Kingfisher,teal 3 common Snipe and 1 cattle egret from the stubble and then over the river towards Braunton.


Eds: a reminder to label photographs some viewers will not know what the birds are.. Here Glossy Ibis with Greenshank, Kingfisher and 2 Snipe with Redshank.

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 5:12 pm by john elvin in General Birding

west Charleton marsh

Please note that access to hide is impossible at present due to high level of water

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 4:16 pm by lesley goonesekera in General Birding

R.Taw, Barnstaple. Pottington to Bradiford Water. 1045-1145. High Tide 1327.

Black-tailed Godwit 41; Bar-tailed Godwit 2; Dark-bellied Brent Goose 138; Teal 4; Shelduck 4;

Goosander 9 (6M,3redheads) and just 1 Sanderling.

Posted December 17th, 2018 at 3:00 pm by Maurice Clements in General Birding

Fremington Pill this morning

Greater Scaup


Posted December 17th, 2018 at 12:58 pm by David Paterson in General Birding

Sunday 16th December 2018

Plym Estuary & Saltram

On Blaxton Meadow - 2 Snipe, 2 Goosanders (redheads), 10 Wigeon, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Greenshanks, 32 Shelducks & c40 Curlews,  Also Ring-necked Parakeet(s) heard, 2 Little Grebes and a Shag. 

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 7:53 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Charleton Marsh / Bay

Out in the bay Great Northern Diver, Pintail, 469 Wigeons, 50 Brent Geese, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Little Grebes, c400 Golden Plovers, Greenshank, 43 Curlews and a Rock Pipit. On a flooded marsh, more a lake, 134 Teals, 2 Gadwalls, Greenshank and Water Rail.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 5:21 pm by Perry Sanders in General Birding

Baggy Point & Down End

At Baggy Point: four Eiders, 27 Common Scoters, two Red-throated Divers, plus single Gannet, Water Rail (first time I've ever recorded one at this site), Mediterranean Gull and female Blackcap. Down End was quiet apart from a pair of Stonechats and a superb male Black Redstart.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 2:43 pm by Tim Jones in General Birding

Exe Estuary divers

A link to video of the divers on YouTube:

Does anyone else think the new, paler bird looks odd?  Upper mandible appears to be dark all along ridge of upper mandible - can White-billed ever show this?

Eds: It is a paler headed Great Northern compared to the other bird it is with and larger billed too but the dark all the way to the tip of the upper mandible rules out White billed Diver. The bill would have looked more yellowish too even in today's light.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 2:02 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Exe Estuary: Cockwood

Started my WeBS count this morning with close views (but awful light) from Cockwood Steps of 2 Great Northern Divers (new one with pale on back of head rather reminiscent of White-billed!) and 'Herbert', the resident Slavonian Grebe; pretty awful phonescoped images below. At least 3 G C Grebes and a Kingfisher also near Cockwood Steps. Rest of count uneventful, apart from a hailstorm!

Great Northern Diver fw Great Northern Divers Slavonian Grebe                                             Great Northern Divers                                    Slavonian Grebe

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 1:45 pm by Dave Smallshire in General Birding

Exe Powderham to Turf

Another impressive count of pintail near Greenland Bank - 250, otherwise few birds on the WeBS count today. The big surprise were 2 male cirl buntings feeding alongside 2 linnet and 3 meadow pipits on the sea-wall and at times on the cycle path about 200m north of the new bridge at Powderham.

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 1:03 pm by John Waldon in General Birding

Decoy Lake, Newton Abbot

A Great Northern Diver was on the lake at Decoy, Newton Abbot, This morning(16-12-18) at 08.45

Posted December 16th, 2018 at 9:49 am by nick hamzij in General Birding

Saturday 15th December 2018


One of the Common Snipe on the scrape.

Posted December 15th, 2018 at 2:00 pm by john elvin in General Birding

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